Wake up call for social networks
106 | Montana turns Mon-BAN-a
Issue #106 | Your reading time this week is 6 mins. 15 secs.
US Surgeon General warns that social media poses a threat to kids' mental health. TikTok says the Montana ban is ‘unconstitutional’. YouTube’s contribution to US GDP, society and culture stands at $35 billion whilst the video-sharing platform generated $40 billion globally in revenue last year. Meta’s ‘year of efficiency’ hasn’t negatively affected Mark Zuckerberg’s worth. Bloomberg puts the CEO’s fortune up $44 billion.
YouTube’s impact on US
Oxford Economics has published an updated assessment of YouTube’s contribution to US GDP and employment along with the video-sharing platform’s broader impact on society and culture.
Stand-out stats from the study include:
📈 YouTube’s creative ecosystem contributed over $35 billion to US GDP in 2022 and supported more than 390,000 full-time equivalent jobs.
📊 83% of creators who earn money from YouTube agree that YouTube provides an opportunity to create content and earn money that they wouldn’t get from traditional media.
📈 74% of creators who earn money from YouTube report that YouTube has had a positive impact on their professional goals
📊 78% of SMBs who use YouTube agree that YouTube is essential to their business growth
Influence is King
YouTube generates $40B
YouTube earned $40 billion in revenue in the year ending 31 March, according to CEO Neal Mohan. Speaking at the MoffettNathanson technology conference Mr Mohan underscored the importance of advertising revenue to the platform.
Last month the company reported a 2.6% decline in ad revenue for the quarter. It was the third quarter in a row that ad revenue had fallen.
Zuckerberg’s fortune up $44 billion this year
Mark Zuckerberg has topped the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. The Meta CEO’s fortune has grown by about $44 billion this year, the most of anyone tracked by the index.
Zuckerberg’s good fortune is not shared by everyone at Meta, however. The company is laying off 10,000 people this year and instituting a hiring freeze as part of the company’s “Year of Efficiency.
‘Unconstitutional’: TikTok CEO slams Montana ban
TikTok has filed a lawsuit against Montana's decision to ban the app from operating in the US state.
CATCH ME UP: This week Montana signed a bill banning TikTok within the state.
The bill is largely symbolic. The state is home to twice as many cattle as it is to constituents. The bill won’t become law until next year. That’s if it’s not successfully overturned by TikTok or by NetChoice - an internet trade body.
WHAT THE BILL SAYS: TikTok can’t operate within Montana. App stores can’t make TikTok available to download within the state. The bill targets Big Tech not individual users. App store operators and TikTok itself could face fines of $10,000 per violation per day.
ENFORCEABLE BAN? Probably not. App stores operate country-by-country, not state-by-state. It’s probably impossible for stores to sell selectively based on this granularity of geolocation. And, if they could it wouldn’t stop Montana residents from driving inter-state to download or, even, downloading at home via VPN.
Mon-BAN-a: TikTok creators fight back
Five TikTok creators have sued to block Montana’s bill to ban the app. The law suit is filed by Ambika Kumar of Davis Wright Tremaine. Ms Kumer is the lead counsel who represented other creators in securing an injunction of President Trump’s 2020 ban.
“Montana has no authority to enact laws advancing what it believes should be the United States’ foreign policy or its national security interests, nor may Montana ban an entire forum for communication based on its perceptions that some speech shared through that forum, though protected by the First Amendment, is dangerous.” “Montana can no more ban its residents from viewing or posting to TikTok than it could ban the Wall Street Journal because of who owns it or the ideas it publishes.”
Social media poses a threat to kids’ mental health
US Surgeon General Vivek Murthy this week warned that social media poses a threat to kids' mental health. According to a new advisory:
Children and adolescents on social media are commonly exposed to extreme, inappropriate, and harmful content.
Those spending over 3 hours a day on social media face double the risk of poor mental health including experiencing symptoms of depression and anxiety.
Key concerns identified in the advisory include:
Social media may perpetuate body dissatisfaction, disordered eating behaviours, social comparison, and low self-esteem, especially among adolescent girls.
When asked about the impact of social media on their body image: 46% of adolescents aged 13-17 said social media makes them feel worse, 40% said it makes them feel neither better nor worse, and only 14% said it makes them feel better.
64% of adolescents are “often” or “sometimes” exposed to hate-based content.
Some social media platforms show suicide- and self-harm-related content including even live depictions of self-harm acts, content which, in certain tragic cases, has been linked to childhood deaths.
Creators Legal & Hashtag Pay Me partner
Creators Legal, the online platform offering creators contract templates and other dealmaking tools has partnered with Hashtag Pay Me, a platform providing creators with brand deal data, pricing insights for sponsored posts, and brand contact information.
The partnership makes a lot of sense. The services complement each other and creators are set to benefit from discounted pricing on both platforms.
Devotees of this newsletter may recall that we covered the launch of Creators’ Legal in Creator Briefing #25. The firm set up by veteran lawyer, Eric Farber, celebrated its first year in business last September. We covered the anniversary in Creator Briefing #73. Over 1,000 creatives use the service. Over 3,000 contracts have been built using the software.
The most popular contracts sold include: Podcast Guest Release, Influencer Management Agreement, NFT Development, and Podcast Sponsorship Deal.
Influencer agency to pay people $1,000 to watch TikTok
Ubiquitous, an influencer marketing platform running managed campaigns, is recruiting three people to watch TikTok and help the firm “discover emerging new trends”.
The platform will pay three people $100 an hour for a 10-hour TikTok-watching session. It follows a similar initiative from last October which paid $50 an hour across a 12-hour shift.
Is this a real attempt at horizon scanning or a marketing ploy designed to gain media attention and build subscribers to the firm’s own YouTube channel? A requirement of the job application is to subscribe to the channel.
How meaningful will results be?
FLEETING TRENDS: The TikTok Watching Job 2.0 appears to be a one-off gig. With trends and micro-trends flaring up and disappearing at speed on the platform just how useful will findings from the snapshot be?
PERSONALISED ALGORITHM: We know that TikTok serves up content based on our preferences of past content. How useful will extrapolating data from personalised feeds be?
SAMPLE SIZE: A better use of the $3,000 might have been to monitor 30 TikTok users across one hour rather than to analyse trends from just three users.
Brand taps creator for creative director role
Makeup company Too Faced has appointed actor and TikTok star Sara Echeagaray as its first creative director in residence. The year-long contract gives Echeagaray the power to consult on product development, social media posts and creative projects, according to Glossy.
We identified the trend of creators turning creative directors back in Creator Briefing #96 noting Diet Coke has Kate Moss. LVMH has Pharell. Pretty Little Thing has Molly-Mae Hague. And Gymshark has David Laid.
News in Brief
🤑 Meta was hit this week with a record $1.3 billion fine imposed by Ireland's Data Protection Commissioner (DPC). The penalty was given over Meta’s handling of user information [Reuters].
🍿 Khaby Lame has swapped Tiktok to create, produce and direct a short film to be premiered at the 2023 Taormina Film Festival [Hollywood Reporter].
⚖️ A judge in Spain has ordered that a YouTuber, found guilty of defaming his ex-girlfriend’s father, must now read his sentence every week for a month on his YouTube channel [Gizmodo].
🤷♂️ Should social media face-altering filters be regulated? [BBC]
🎯 Instagram has its sights on Twitter with a competitor clone ready for release in time for Summer [Bloomberg].
👎 Verified Twitter accounts turn viral AI-generated hoax of Pentagon explosion [Vice]
📃 Meta has published its latest Transparency and Community Standards Enforcement Reports, providing insight into all the content removals and government requests that have been submitted to the company in recent months [Social Media Today]
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